Former News of the World journalist and editor Ian Edmondson has admitted that he was involved in phone hacking at the British tabloid from 2000 to 2006.
In “R v Coulson, Brooks and others”, the phone hacking trial which began in October last year, Mr Edmondson was charged with conspiring to hack phones, along with News of the World’s former editor Andy Coulson, private investigator Glenn Mulcaire, former royal editor of the newspaper Clive Goodman, and others.
After he was deemed unfit to stand trial due to health reasons on December 12, 2013 – the 29th day of proceedings – Mr Edmondson remained absent from the trial until in July this year, when he was judged fit to continue court hearings.
When asked to state his plea in a hearing on October 3, Mr Edmondson told the court that he was guilty of conspiring to intercept private voice messages between October 3, 2000 and August 9, 2006.
During the hearing, prosecutor Mark Bryant-Heron QC talked of Mr Edmondson’s involvement in “systematic phone hacking” and the prosecution said that his name appeared on 334 of the 8000 phone hacking request notes seized by authorities from Mr Mulcaire.
Mr Edmondson’s reported requests to Mr Mulcaire include the hacking of the phones of actress Sienna Miller, former culture secretary Tessa Jowell, actor Jude Law, musician Paul McCartney and others.
Mr Bryant-Heron said that phone records between July 2005 and August 2006 showed that Mr Mulcaire and Mr Edmondson had exchanged 900 calls and texts, which suggested a “close working relationship”.
Mr Edmondson’s barrister Sallie Bennett-Jenkins QC defended the former editor, saying that he was acting “under the direct instruction from senior executives to use Mulcaire”.
Mr Edmondson was released on bail and will return to court in November for sentencing.
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